Champion Sun Germicidal Bleach
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When it comes to cleaning and disinfecting your home, bleach is one product you’ll want stocked in your pantry. Used for everything from cleaning bathrooms to removing stains, it can help keep your home fresh and clean.
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While bleach is generally safe when used properly, it’s a poisonous substance that should be used according to label directions only.
The CDC recommends the use of diluted bleach solutions for disinfecting hard or nonporous surfaces. But avoid mixing bleach with vinegar, ammonia or other acids, which releases a toxic chlorine gas that can be lethal at high levels and in confined spaces. And in light of recent speculation in the news and on social media, it bears repeating: Ingesting or injecting bleach in even small amounts can kill you.
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The difference comes down to a chemical that contributes to its effectiveness as a disinfectant. Chlorine bleach is your everyday household bleach used to clean around the house and disinfect and sanitize countertops and other surfaces. The active ingredient in chlorine bleach is sodium hypochlorite, which makes up to 5.25% to 6% of bleach by weight. Sodium hypochlorite is what allows bleach to effectively kill viruses, bacteria and other germs.
Nonchlorine bleach is considered a safer alternative to chlorine bleach given a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide, which helps lift stains but doesn’t necessarily kill germs. Experts aren’t clear about the level of disinfecting qualities nonchlorine bleach offers, but it generally comes down to whether the manufacturer has included an extra ingredient or chemical designed to kill germs.
If you’re concerned about whether your bleach is an effective cleaner against germs and viruses, read the label’s fine print.
You can make your own disinfecting solution for countertops and other surfaces by diluting bleach with water:
If you’re using a concentrated bleach, you may need to adjust the measurements to 1/3 cup bleach.
The EPA advises six ways to safe and effective use of bleach and other disinfectants:
Yes, but there’s no equal replacement that kills 99% of germs as bleach does. Still, when properly mixed, hydrogen peroxide and vinegar is known to kill germs that cause the common cold without the risks of bleach. And many DIYers swear by a paste of baking soda and vinegar to spruce up the bathroom. Borax too is a favorite for freshening up your laundry.
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